\ ˈsəmp How to pronounce sump (audio) \

Definition of sump

1 : a pit or reservoir serving as a drain or receptacle for liquids: such as
a : cesspool
b : a pit at the lowest point in a circulating or drainage system (such as the oil-circulating system of an internal combustion engine)
c chiefly British : oil pan
2 British : crankcase

3 [ German Sumpf, literally, marsh, from Middle High German — more at swamp ]

a : the lowest part of a mine shaft into which water drains
b : an excavation ahead of regular work in driving a mine tunnel or sinking a mine shaft
4 : something resembling a sump : sink sense 2

Examples of sump in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Work crews have removed asbestos from several floors, added landscaping, restored electric service and installed a sump-pump system. Dan Austin And Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Archive: Once crown jewel, Detroit train station now symbol of ruin," 11 June 2018 When the air pocket ran out, Graham used her legs as antennae, probing her feet around the pitch-black sump to feel for the next pocket of buoyancy ahead of her. Joshua Hydeman, National Geographic, "One of the Deepest Caves in the World is Even Bigger Than We Thought," 7 June 2018 The bottom of the tank farm is probably gravel with a liner below it and a low area or sump, said Tom DeRuyter, DEC's on-scene coordinator for the agency's northern region. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Human error blamed for 22,000-gallon spill at Savoonga tank farm," 15 Mar. 2018 Breathable concrete was laid as the base, allowing water to seep through and be sucked up by sumps. Tod Leonard,, "City golf awaiting approval for work on Torrey Pines South," 10 Oct. 2017 The Fox Lake seeped in, despite a new sump pit Evanson had jackhammered through the concrete floor slab. Robert Mccoppin, McHenry County, "Some homeowners have fought flooding for years," 21 July 2017 A more worrying issue was our car’s on-again, off-again oil consumption, as well as a dealer who, on at least one occasion, left the sump two quarts low after an oil and filter change. Josh Jacquot, Car and Driver, "2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS," 19 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sump.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sump

1653, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sump

Middle English sompe swamp — more at swamp

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Dictionary Entries near sump

Sumner's method

Sumner line




sump fuse


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The first known use of sump was in 1653

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English Language Learners Definition of sump

: a low part or area where liquid collects when it drains from something

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sump

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to take the place or position of

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